"If there's issues with employment, it seems like that would be a more appropriate setting instead of an impeachment hearing where the ambassador is not a material fact witness to any of the accusations that are being hurled at the president for this impeachment inquiry", he concluded.
Marie Yovanovitch, the former us ambassador to Ukraine, who was recalled in the spring amid what she previously described as a "concerted campaign" against her, told lawmakers Friday she did not understand Rudy Giuliani's "motives for attacking me".
As the former diplomat described her abrupt departure from Ukraine, Mr. Trump targeted her foreign service record, saying everywhere she went, things "turned bad". Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him.
For more than a month, Democrats have investigated whether President Donald Trump used the powers of his office to pressure Ukraine to help his reelection by announcing investigations into his political rivals.
Marie "Masha" Yovanovitch, a longtime career diplomat, was serving as US ambassador to Ukraine last spring when she was abruptly ordered home and told that she had lost the confidence of the president.
One allegation in the impeachment inquiry is that Giuliani - acting on behalf of the president - sidelined American diplomats and official USA policy to pursue a widely debunked theory that corrupt Ukrainian politicians interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help the Democratic candidate, former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton.
The transcript disproves allegations, based on the July 25 phone call flagged in the whistleblower complaint, that Trump was withholding a White House meeting as leverage to get investigations into the Bidens or 2016 election meddling. With all of that, however, I have done FAR more for Ukraine than O. Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., read the tweet to the former ambassador during her testimony and gave her an opportunity to respond.
Trump's enemies, including Democrats like Clinton, quickly took hold of the witness intimidation talking point even though Yovanovitch is not a witness in a criminal proceeding and freely expressed her opinion throughout her time in front of the committee, including criticizing the president. Yovanovitch is expected to testify in a public hearing on the Ukraine matter on November 15.
Yovanovitch answered questions on November 15 as part of the impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump. She was recalled by Trump in May after a weeks-long campaign by former Ukrainian officials that was amplified by conservative media outlets, the president's personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani and the president's son Donald Trump Jr. In Ukraine, she described going to its border with Russian Federation 10 times to wave the American flag to make clear that the USA opposed Russia's efforts to expand its empire.
Yovanovitch said the effect of the attacks was to be intimidated and that she felt threatened by Trump. Asked if she would've directed Kiev to explore a theory concerning who hacked the Democratic National Committee server during the 2016 campaign, Yovanovitch answered "no", saying the theory had already been debunked by the US intelligence community. In May 2019, she was abruptly removed from her post even though one of her bosses assured her that she'd done "nothing wrong".
And when Zelensky invites Trump to his inauguration, Trump says he'll dispatch someone at "a very, very high level". She has served both Democratic and Republican presidents.
"I guess they wanted to have business dealings in Ukraine, or different business dealings", she said. "I can't speak to what the president is trying to do".
Indeed, the call contains mostly pleasantries from Trump and Zelensky about the recent Ukrainian election.
Yovanovitch, who is still employed by the State Department, said she served under four Republican presidents and has always been non-partisan.
Investigators were also scheduled Friday for a private deposition of foreign service official David Holmes, who's believed to have been with Sondland in Ukraine when he received a call from Trump asking about the status of "the investigations".
In the phone conversation, Trump asked for a "favor", according to an account provided by the White House. "And it' s really an incredible thing that you've done".
In releasing the April rough transcript, there is a risk Trump could put the differences between the two calls in stark relief.